Chris Johnson is a local creator, innovator, and entrepreneur who radiates positive energy wherever he goes. It’s not just in his DNA, but also how he was raised. Chris credits his parents, his mom a long-time employee at Sears and his dad a firefighter with the Evansville Fire Department, for bringing him and his younger brother up to be the best they could be no matter what life or society threw their way.
Like a lot of innovators, Chris was a good student but didn’t love school. Looking back, he’s come to realize that he needed more hands on, project-based learning. After graduating from Bosse High School, Chris attended college at the University of Southern Indiana (USI), Ivy Tech in Evansville, and Ivy Tech in Bloomington before earning his bachelors degree in Public Relations and Advertising at USI. A versatile major, this degree would give him the tools for any occupational field he chose, and that was of the upmost importance to him.
A lover of life and new experiences, Chris headed to Gainesville, Florida with his girlfriend, their cats, and a dream of success as an entrepreneur. He was hired as an Admissions Recruitment Specialist for Santa Fe College, and then shortly after, he received an offer from the University of Florida to help launch UF Online Onestop. This platform supports the academic affair service needs of online students including admissions, financial aid, the registrar’s office, and bursars office. Chris worked diligently with two others to bring it to life.
So what drew him back to Evansville? Opportunity! Chris felt a pull to come back home and contribute his talents and experience here. He currently serves two roles at Ivy Tech Community College: Talent Connection Manager, where he connects employers with students for job shadowing and internships, and Entrepreneurship Support, where he teaches over 20 student entrepreneurs how to develop, build, and launch a business in one full academic year. Unsurprisingly, he uses a project-based learning curriculum, meaning no tests, exams or assignments. And that’s just his “Clark Kent” job! His “Superman” role is CEO of IGOTBOOM, LLC, a new-age consulting and strategic solution company that he created to offer expertise in an array of disciplines. The main objective of IGOTBOOM, he says, is to help solve problems and obtain his client’s specific goals while adding a little “BOOM” to it. That energy, special sauce, or BOOM is something that just comes natural to Chris.
This year, Chris plans to create a project-based learning Entrepreneurship Master Program curriculum through University of Evansville’s Community Changemaker Challenge Initiative that could revolutionize education at the graduate level. He’ll also see his 18 students launch their businesses and grow their existing startups, as well as welcome 25 new students to the program this fall, launch a new software with his business partner, Delisa Payne, CEO of Nerdz World, LLC to improve the quality of life for Evansville and cities around the world, finish his self-help book, and host a celebration for nurses and first responders with his brother, Courtney, the founder of Young & Established. Somehow, between all of that, Chris will still find time for other things he loves, like dancing, writing, and socializing. Do not challenge this man to a dance off.
Thanks for shining your light in our city, Chris! The Evansville region is better because of you.